Hierarchies of Evil?

Bruce Michael

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Dear All,

Tomberg’s Meditations on the Tarot is on the top 100 spiritual books of the twentieth century list. It is a marvelous book and obviously the product of a great mind. I have found the answers to riddles in it that I haven't found elsewhere.

Regarding the Devil card (from VT):
"the fifteenth Arcanum of the Tarot, in so far as it is a spiritual exercise, cannot and must not, lead to an experience of identification of the meditant with the subject of meditation. One should not arrive at an intuition of evil, since intuition is identification, and identification is communion. Unfortunately many authors - occultist and non-occultist have dealt without rhyme or reason with the profound things of both good and evil.

"They believed they should "do their best" with respect to depth and penetration in their treatment of the subject of the mysteries of good and, equally, that of the secrets of evil. It is thus that Dostoyevsky released into the world certain profound truths of Christianity, and, at the same time, certain secret practical methods of evil. This is above all the case in his novel The Possessed.....

"One ought not to occupy oneself with evil, other than in keeping a certain distance and a certain reserve, if one wishes to avoid the risk of paralysing the creative elan and a still greater risk- that of furnishing arms to the powers of evil.

"One can grasp profoundly, i.e. intuitively, only that which one loves. Love is the vital element of profound knowledge, intuitive knowledge. Now, one cannot love evil. Evil is therefore unknowable in its essence. One can understand it only at a distance, as an observer of its phenomenology.

We know that there is a Hierarchiy in the Good beings- those who reflect Father God. But what about the realm of Evil?

"This is why you will certainly find luminous descriptions - although schematic of the celestial hierarchies by St. Dionysius the Areopagite, St. Bonaventura, St. Thomas Aquinas, and also in the Cabbala and in the work of Rudolf Steiner, but you will search in vain for an analogous tableau with regard to the hierarchies of evil. You will certainly find amongst sorcerers' grimoires and in the practical Cabbala (by Abramelin the Mage, for example) a host of names of particular beings belonging to the hierarchies of evil, but you will not find a description of their general classification in the manner of that by St. Dionysius the Areopagite of the celestial hierarchies. The world of the hierarchies of evil appears like a luxuriant jungle, where you can certainly, if necessary, distinguish hundreds and thousands of particular plants, but where you can never attain to a clear view of the totality. The world of evil is a chaotic world- at least, such as it presents itself to the observer.

"One ought not to enter this jungle if one does not want to lose one's way there; one should be an observer from outside. This is why meditation on the Arcanum "The Devil" must obey the laws indicated above concerning the attitude towards evil. It will therefore be a matter of an effort to comprehend this Arcanum at a distance by means of the phenomenological method."